South City Kitchen’s Fried Green Tomatoes

Written by Chef Chip Ulbrich

Fried Green Tomatoes
Serves 6 – 8 

6 – 8 medium green tomatoes
1 pound creamy goat cheese (spreadable)
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
4 cups all purpose flour
8 cups Panko crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 quart Roasted Red Pepper Puree

Prepare Roasted Red Pepper Puree as directed and keep warm. Beat eggs with water in a shallow baking pan; reserve. Place flour in another shallow baking dish, season with salt and pepper, mix and reserve. Put panko bread crumbs into a food processor and process until fine in texture. Place in another shallow baking dish; reserve. Slice tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices and lay out on a cutting board or clean counter. You should have about 3 to 4 slices per person. Spread each with about 1 tablespoon of goat cheese. Assemble a breading station nearby with a baking sheet at the end to stack your finished tomatoes on. Dip tomatoes first in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess, then in egg mixture, then in the panko, pressing gently. Repeat till all tomatoes are dredged. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat, adding frying oil to about a 1-inch depth.

Heat to about 350 degrees and add tomatoes one at a time until the pan is full but not crowded. Cook on one side until golden, flip and cook on the other side until golden. Remove to a paper towel-lined tray and continue cooking in batches until all are done. To serve, pool some warm red pepper puree on a large platter or individual plates and arrange fried tomatoes over sauce. Optional: If you want to serve them just like South City Kitchen, get some dandelion greens and fry them before the tomatoes until crisp. Be sure to be careful as the greens may splatter a bit when you add them to the hot oil.

For the Roasted Red Pepper Puree
Serves 1 quart

1 29-ounce can roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, leaves only
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautée garlic, shallots, tomatoes and thyme in a little oil. Add peppers and deglaze with wine. Cook until tender, then add basil leaves. Puree the mixture until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.